Thursday, March 31, 2011

Arrivaderci, Bologna - a day early...and Rome Part II

Dessert from last night. Because I know how much you all want to know what I had for dessert!
Today was the last day of the Bologna Book Fair, and last night I went out for dinner with some of the ladies from our Canadian publishing contingent. Apparently, this sort of ladies dinner is a bit of a tradition, and I was very happy to be included. We had SO much fun exchanging travel stories (not that I had many). Most of these women have been to the Bologna and Frankfurt book fairs many, many times over the years and I got to hear some hilarious stories. Scandalous, even. But sorry, folks. What happens in Bologna, stays in Bolonga. ;)

This is what a taxi line-up looks like outside of the Fair when the buses are on strike. Actually, the line is twice as long but I don't have a wide-angle lens.
But throughout the day, there was an underlying level of anxiety due to the fact that all the train services in Italy were going on strike this evening until tomorrow night. Of course, I was scheduled to travel back into Rome tomorrow afternoon to stay with my cousin for the weekend before flying home. And by the time I learned of the impending strike, it was too late for me to cancel my hotel room in Bologna for that night. After much deliberation, I decided that it would still be best to get on a train this afternoon and get into Rome before the strike began. I certainly didn't want to get stuck in the train station in Bologna in whatever sort of confusion might ensue tomorrow while schlepping around two suitcases. Fortunately, I was able to contact Cristina (my cousin) and arrange to meet her at the train station in Rome. Otherwise, I'd just be hanging around Bologna (as lovely as it is) for another day and missing Rome entirely.
The Hotel Breakfast Bar. Yum!

So, arrivaderci, Bologna and Albergo Centrale Hotel!  I hope I will be back again soon.

On to Rome...

The ride in was peaceful and uneventful, thank goodness. And it was wonderful to see Cristina on the platform at the end of my journey, waiting for me. I hadn't seen her in over 10 years! Unfortunately, since I was a day early, she hadn't been able to make arrangements to pick up her car in time to help me get to her apartment, so we had to lug all my ridiculous luggage on the subway. Holy moley. What a LOT of stairs!!! I'm sure that poor Cristina is wondering what sort of lunatic cousin she has, with all these bags. The two of us were pretty worn out when we finally got to her place.

After settling all my stuff in, we went out to a super restaurant (Yes, Dad, - I paid! Thanks!) and walked around a little before calling it a night.

Now that the Fair itself is over, I hope that I'll be able to get some sleep. But I'll still be thinking of Kate and James at home, playing in hockey tournaments tomorrow: Kate in Hamilton, and James in Milton, in what is probably his last rep tournament ever. Sigh. Of course, I'll also be thinking of Eliot at school (ha, ha - sorry, Eliot), and Troy getting up plenty early to drive Kate. I hear there's been snow in Toronto. Gee, that's too bad ;)

For Kate: Look! There really is a Marblehead, Massachusettes! (Inside West Wing joke...)

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